Motivation for Doing What You Ought to Do: Part One

Romans 7: 22 – 25

JESUS CHRIST “…works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure” (Philippians 2: 13).

The energetic living Lord Jesus spiritually indwells the believer.  Two of the many functions He performs are to motivate and enable a person to do what is right.

He is responsible for the INWORKING, we for the OUTWORKING. Somewhere between the inworking and the outworking there is often a breakdown. Embarrassingly Scripture speaks of most of us:

“For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” (Romans 7: 19)

Is that a painful description of you? None can answer “yes,” with pride. If there is no false pride, let there be no contentment in continuing a herky-jerky, on-again-off-again lifestyle. 

Christianity isn’t intended to be a series of ups and downs. It is to be a succession of ins and outs. Christ works in us that His will might be worked out by us.

Two full-time college students majoring in music were discussing their part time jobs. One said, “I work in the opera at night. The pay is good even for my bit role as a spear carrier.”       

The second, knowing of his fellow student’s long day and heavy schedule said, “How do you stay awake so late at night?”

“Simple, the guy behind me carries a spear also.”

We need to develop the mind-set of a person with a motivating spear carrier behind him if we are to avoid doing what we should not and doing what we should. To do this a certain mind-set is essential.

We program our mind to think a certain way. We must preempt our mind of negative improper thoughts.

Before medical science had progressed to know better, it was believed that conscious thoughts came from the heart. Knowing the heart pumped blood it was thought of the point of origin for thoughts which were believed to be carried from the heart to the brain by the blood. Figuratively, this language was used by Christ who said, “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…” (Matthew 15:19).

If we are going to do what we should and avoid what we should not do, we must preempt improper thoughts.  Don’t program your mind with secret improper thoughts and expect your conduct to be correct. 

What mental pre-set needs to be reset with pure and positive thoughts. If there are some, now is the ideal time to change your mind, that is, reset.